How to transform your kitchen into the perfect home office

With travel restrictions keeping most of the public confined to their homes, there has been a rise, or a trend, in makeshift home office spaces.

This has, for many, redefined the role of certain rooms within the home – as multipurpose spaces become a key focus in house design. The lounge area and bedrooms are still largely regarded as a sanctuary away from the busy bustle of working life.

Yet, the kitchen has proven to be one of the more popular places to setup a makeshift workstation, especially if your home lacks the free space for a pop-up office. It’s also an ideal option for people who live in narrow block homes

Trethowans
Trethowans

Traditionally, people have gravitated towards the kitchen not only for eating and food prep, but as a key room for conversation. Nowadays, the kitchen seems perfectly fit for this modern desire for homes to be more multipurpose. The kitchen has long been the heart of the home, but now it’s a place for gathering, entertaining and, apparently, working. 

But how do you achieve this transformation? 

Repurpose a workstation from an old bench

The kitchen is a hub of unused space, from workstations to islands and unoccupied tables and stools. The advantage of repurposing your kitchen lies in how empty, or negative, space can be reclaimed for other productive uses. 

For example, if your main dining station, table or breakfast bar is largely unused throughout the day, why not reinvest in using this space as a workstation? The kitchen could provide you with a quiet, undisturbed and uncluttered setting to conduct videocalls and contemplate work errands for the day ahead. 

Hideaways create privacy 

If your kitchen enjoys a minimalist design, and clutter would disrupt its clean aesthetic, then consider hideaways and other concealing furniture features that can keep your desk hidden and private.

If your kitchen worktops and tabletops are more often enjoyed by the whole family, then a hideaway feature, like a multipurpose cupboard or pantry, can create space for the family and for work. The benefits of this approach can mean keeping your work hidden when you’re not at the desk, but allowing you to access a tidy, private working station when you need it the most. 

You can easily repurpose cabinetry and cupboards to store work items, such as computers or paperwork, whilst the kitchen is being used for other activities like cooking or eating. Hideaways helps your home stay tidy and will give your kitchen’s smallest nooks a sense of purpose.  

Rethink recessions for your work nook

If your kitchen enjoys a quirky, non-traditional layout, and the walls have recesses, then consider using these odd spaces to create your new workstation. This is a particularly strong design options for those with small or open-plan (or possibly boutique) kitchens. 

Recissions have, historically, seemed unusual in a kitchen’s design and can be resourceful for creating character. Typically, this space is dedicated to shelving or storage, which doesn’t always provide function or purpose. Yet, when tailored for remote working, you can use recessions to create privacy, too. 

This can integrate into your current design, simply by adding a chair or stool and clearing enough space for a computer. You can streamline this into a homework and working station for the whole family if you have a busy household; or, alternatively, refocus any recessions or nooks on quiet time for your work. 

Rescessions are typically hidden, or out-of-sight. This means your kitchen can still enjoy its function as a space for cooking, but with the added benefit of a stowaway workstation for busy sessions at the computer. 

Bespoke for a truly personal solution 

Repurposing old countertops for work is a great way to recycle unused space. There’s many opportunities for design to enjoy function as much as form.

Bespoke kitchen design is the ultimate means of crafting a kitchen that uses space effectively and purposefully, because your kitchen could fulfil your vision of a blended space. Think bespoke cabinetry and countertops, each able to cater to a kitchen for cooking and eating or designed for work when it’s needed. 

Bespoke design is increasingly popular, because kitchens can reflect a great diversity of personality and function. This is the versatility of kitchen design: unlike other rooms around the home, a kitchen can transform from its traditional role to serve as a place of work when it’s not being used for eating and cooking. 

The article was produced in collaboration with KNB Ltd., Nottingham’s premier kitchen and bathroom specialist with over 30 years of experience.

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa